qualify as offering anything other than poor to fair facilities, professionals and equipment.
Private healthcare in Nigeria
Health insurance in Nigeria
Expats should note that immediate payment for healthcare is generally expected in cash up front. It follows that private health insurance is essential, especially if a situation arises where one needs to foot the bill for an emergency evacuation abroad (expats should ensure this is part of their policy). In most cases, this is a stipulation included in negotiated contracts, and if it isn’t then expats should broach the subject with their employer.
The cost associated with private treatment can quickly escalate, even if a large-scale medical evacuation is not needed, so it’s best to ensure adequate coverage for any eventuality.
Pharmacies in Nigeria
Health risks in Nigeria
Malaria is a concern throughout Nigeria. Expats are divided over whether or not to take malaria prophylaxes. These drugs do have some serious side effects, and long-term use is not recommended. Additionally, they mask the symptoms of malaria, which may impede rapid treatment. The best approach is to be proactive with prevention: use a mosquito net, cover arms and legs, fumigate the house twice a year and visit the doctor immediately if experiencing any flu-like symptoms. Malaria is easy to treat, as long as it’s caught early.
HIV and tuberculosis are also rife in Nigeria, so appropriate precautions must be taken. Tap water should not be consumed; water-borne diseases spread easily, and diarrhoea is a common ailment amongst expats.
Vaccinations for Nigeria
The following vaccinations are recommended prior to travel to Nigeria:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Yellow fever
Emergency services in Nigeria
Emergency response times in Nigeria are notoriously slow. A number of private medical emergency services are in operation, although coverage in rural areas may be limited. It’s essential that expats have comprehensive health insurance that covers air evacuation by private means.